8. Guidelines for chairpersons and speakers

The conference planners will set a number of deadlines that speakers will need to adhere to:

  • Paper abstracts prior to conference – actual date to be determined by the Conference Programme VP.
  • Technical requirements for the presentation– actual date to be determined by the Conference Programme VP.
  • Authorizations if the presentation is to be recorded or broadcast – actual date to be determined by the Conference Programme VP.
  • Pictures and short biographies if required by the conference organizers – actual date to be determined by the Conference Programme VP.
  • Sign and return any release forms required.

8.1. Appointment of Chairpersons

The Chairpersons of conference sessions will be appointed by the Conference Programme Committee.

8.2. Topics and speakers

In line with the general theme of the conference in question, the Conference  Programme Committee will organize the submissions received as a result of the Call for Papers into suitable themes and sub-themes. The Conference Programme Committee will then identify any gaps in the programme and put out a second Call for Papers, or ask appropriate members or experts to contribute to the programme, or work with the Sections and Committees to complete the conference preliminary programme.

8.3. The Chairperson’s role at the Conference

The Chairperson will conduct the session at the conference, and is asked to take an active part in the session, starting perhaps with a short overall view of the topic, introducing the speakers, calling for questions and even starting the discussion by raising some points of interest or contention. The chair should meet with the speakers before the session starts and review the order of presentations, the audiovisual requirements, time limitations and politely remind speakers that English is not the first language for many IASA delegates or speakers. To facilitate understanding, it is important that speakers try and speak slowly and clearly. This is particularly important if there is simultaneous translation.

8.4. Structure of a session

Conference sessions are normally one and a half hours long. Although the organisation of a session is generally flexible, this would allow for three speakers each with papers of about 20 minutes in length plus 10 minutes time for discussion, preferably following each presentation, plus time for the Chairperson’s introductory input and their introduction of each speaker with a brief biography. The Chairperson has to keep the speakers to time using an agreed prompt method and is responsible for the session not going over time.

 The chair should encourage discussion during the question session. The chair should also ensure that the speakers sign any release forms required.

A session can comprise two speakers only but it is recommended not to try and cram in four speakers. Special requests for extended or double sessions must be made to the Conference Programme Committee.

8.5. Delivery of a paper by a third party

Whilst the delivery of a paper by a third party is not encouraged, there are times when this cannot be avoided. In such circumstances and where possible, the paper should be presented by someone with a stake in, or opinion on, the matter. In a sense it should be turned into a joint paper and the presenter should be able to enter into a discussion or answer questions from the floor rather than be a passive translator.

8.6. Other content delivery, e.g. panel discussions or poster sessions

Diversity of delivery is encouraged. A panel discussion is a way to involve the audience and get a range of experts debating often controversial issues. If a panel discussion is mounted it is recommended that there be no more than four panellists plus a moderator who can be the Chairperson, and that at least half an hour is set aside for audience questions and comments if the panel occupies a full session. A panel can take the place of a 30-minute paper but it must be strictly moderated.

Poster sessions can run in parallel with the plenary sessions and/or during break times. They will take place in a different venue to the plenary sessions and a number of posters may be delivered in the same room or space.

8.7. Equipment

The Chairperson and/or VP shall ascertain whether speakers need equipment and inform the conference hosts prior to the set deadline. Guidelines for the basic equipment available will have been determined by the conference hosts, but anything special required by the speakers should be relayed to the Conference VP to ensure it will be made available.

8.8. Language of papers

The Chairperson shall ascertain the language of the presentation. In general the language of IASA conferences is English. Papers not to be presented in English may require simultaneous translation. At the very least, announcements of the language in which the paper will be presented should be made in the programme. If the paper is presented in German or French, the German or French title of the paper should be used in the programme. Material for translation should be presented early enough for such translation to be made if approved by the Conference VP and the EB. This date will be indicated by the Conference VP. The complete translation or a detailed summary may be produced for handout at the conference with the complete translation also used for publication purposes.

8.9. Papers for the IASA Journal

Each speaker at the conference is welcome to give/send a copy of his/her paper to the IASA Editor for possible publication in the IASA Journal.